Bot­toms up!

Country Life Every Week - - Marriage Counselling -

Would it be ac­cept­able to serve pros­ecco in­stead of Cham­pagne at my wed­ding?

Beast, isn’t it? The short an­swer is no. The aw­ful truth is that pros­ecco isn’t re­ally pros­ecco— what­ever the bleat­ing of the Waitrose classes, it’s just I-can’t-af­ford-cham­pagne-so-ciao! Mean­while, thanks to the cun­ning of the great houses, Cham­pagne has such a mys­tique at­tached to it that COUN­TRY LIFE spells it with a cap­i­tal C. (Craven of them, I al­ways think.)

Ad­ver­tis­ing and lit­i­ga­tion both cost un bras et une jambe, which is prob­a­bly why it’s so out­ra­geously ex­pen­sive and why wed­dings gen­er­ally cost far too much.

I’d avoid both—vive la dif­férence! English sparkling wine (no cap­i­tals, but what can you do?) is de­li­cious and has no ig­nominy at­tached. Be­fore the 19th cen­tury, hock—cheap as chips, these days—was le bevvy juste. Fail­ing this, adul­ter­ate your pros­ecco with cheap brandy, An­gos­tura bit­ters and a sugar-lump, then call it a Cham­pagne cock­tail—achingly chic—and re­lax. Be­sides, your guests will be so pie-eyed, they won’t know what they’re drink­ing.

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